Jeremy Beadle, RIP
January 31, 2008 6:20 PM   Subscribe

Erstwhile British TV star Jeremy Beadle died yesterday from pneumonia, aged 59, having just recently fought off kidney cancer then leukaemia. While most famous for hidden camera pranks, stunts and general cruelty, and subject of undoubtedly the funniest joke in the world (due to a birth defect), his lesser known activities included knowing just about everything, euthanasia and raising millions for charity. Love him or hate him, RIP.
posted by cillit bang (19 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
He was one of those figures who I tried to pay as little attention to as possible as I wasn't keen on what he did on the telly and he was a bit ubiquitous for a while back when. But on reading, he turns out to have been a decent fellow all round, so God speed you, Jeremy.
posted by Abiezer at 6:27 PM on January 31, 2008

posted by lundman at 6:59 PM on January 31, 2008

Can someone explain the joke, please?
posted by Afroblanco at 8:07 PM on January 31, 2008

I gather from some of the links that the guy had a deformed hand which was smaller than normal. Hence "on the other hand...."

Har har.
posted by Mid at 8:17 PM on January 31, 2008

He was a most annoying man but, if for nothing else, he should be remembered for making a classic contribution to British culture. Minute 2:15, a British woman, convinced that an alien in her garden is for real, attempts to introduce it to an essential Earthling ritual...
posted by meehawl at 8:48 PM on January 31, 2008

posted by lalochezia at 9:19 PM on January 31, 2008

Great, another reason I dont' want to die, Beadle will be there.

He scribed his initials into the punch table uninvited which was, well typical really. He was annoying

(trying to find the story.... c'mon internet don't let me down)
posted by mattoxic at 9:56 PM on January 31, 2008

Poland Syndrome (PS) is named after Alfred Poland, who described it in 18411

Wow, thank god, I was sure we'd all be borg by then.
posted by mattoxic at 10:03 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Damn, the alien video (which is unfortunately out of sync on this machine) had me in stitches.


posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:43 PM on January 31, 2008

There's speculation about the exact time he died but apparently it was when the big hand touched the little hand.
posted by tapeguy at 11:02 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

I didn't like Beadle at all. His main contribution was to dumb down prime time TV, starting with Game for a Laugh which was just dreadful and started a period when it seemed like there was a competition for the cheapest and dumbest show idea you could get on screen.

Behind much of Beadle's humour was the image of him, in a position of power, cruelly humiliating the victim. Some of his pranks were funny, many simply horrible.

I also suspect that this intelligent man realised he had trapped himself in his image and genre.

That said, if there's anything less funny than Beadle it's those who mock his disability. At least he didn't stoop to that level.
posted by quarsan at 11:30 PM on January 31, 2008

posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 11:59 PM on January 31, 2008

Jeremy Beadle is behind my choices in underwear. I don't recall what happened to him, but I remember being off sick once and watching him do the rounds of daytime shows where he was explaining the dangers of tight underwear. Whatever it was required him to sit in cold baths for months. I don't like cold baths and I don't like testicular dysfunction and Mr Beadle has played no small part in helping me avoid both. I do sometimes check for cameras down there though.

Anyhoo, a eulogy in the style of EJ Thribb:

Jeremy Beadle
You used to be about
But now
You're not
posted by vbfg at 12:27 AM on February 1, 2008 [4 favorites]

Beadle was certainly an annoyance at his peak, but I had a lot of respect for any person with a physical deformity who pursued a career in front of the cameras, especially with such success. He was a natural presenter, and by all accounts, a very decent guy. I knew he had done a lot of work for charity but never realised the MASSIVE amount of money he raised whilst keeping a very low profile. Fair play, Mr Beadle. Well done.

posted by Kiell at 1:16 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

I remember seeing a documentary on him once where he revealed that he owned one of the largest private collections of erotica in the UK, although I can't find anything more about it now and Googling 'Jeremy Beadle erotica' brings up some unfortunate results.

He won Celebrity Mastermind in 2005 (his specialist subject being Victorian murders, I think) and he was an avowed Ripperologist.
posted by essexjan at 1:43 AM on February 1, 2008

Googling 'Jeremy Beadle erotica' brings up some unfortunate results.

Thanks for giving me the strong jibblies. *scowls, mumbles*
posted by Drexen at 2:20 AM on February 1, 2008

a period when it seemed like there was a competition for the cheapest and dumbest show idea you could get on screen.

A period, which, it must be noted, shows no signs of either having ended or coming to an end.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:39 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Apologies in advance.

"Jeremy Beadle's funeral is next monday. He's being cremated, or as some refer to it - 'you've been flamed' "
posted by snailer at 3:17 AM on February 1, 2008

Beadle is an odd one as in later interviews he always seemed to come over as decent bloke, did a lot for charity etc but some of the later stunts he were just unnecessarily cruel. As Victor Lewis Smith pointed out they often involved someone on a new job, ie they've roped in some poor unemployed sod and then when, for example, they are placed in a wig shop and a bad Prince Charles impersonator rings up, they play along as they are desperate to keep the job. Then later in the studio it's 'John can't be with us tonight' as they managed to get him to sign the release form when he was still stunned after the stunt finished but he wasn't going to turn up on the show to be further humiliated now he's back on the dole.

I did think that, unlike the truly loathsome Edmonds, at least he never managed to kill someone but they I read this gem in his obit: "He challenged a fellow pupil to climb a tall tree, from where the boy fell to his death. Another pupil, with whom he was racing on improvised toboggans, was killed when he hit a tree."
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:05 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

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